When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way.
And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.
how do I really see the world?
inquiry for today~ there is space enough to love them well….
Most of us are naturally inclined to help people; we want to try to reduce others’ suffering. Yet some of us reach too quickly for our version of a prescription pad, doling out unsolicited advice. Usually, our first instinct upon hearing of someone’s difficulties is to try to fix them. While our intentions may be genuine, we can be blissfully insensitive to the way we impact others.
We’ve all been there. You meet a friend at Starbucks and mention in passing that you didn’t sleep well the night before. Your helpful, well-meaning friend launches into a discourse on the health risks of drinking coffee, maybe some diet tips, and the importance of an exercise regime.We like our opinions. There is nothing wrong with having a point of view.
What’s problematic is imposing it on others. The attachment to the role of helper goes deep for most of us. If we’re not careful, if we become wedded to this role, it will imprison us and those we serve.
Because let’s face it: if I am going to be a helper, then somebody has to be helpless. True compassion, the action to relieve suffering is other-focused. Fixing to alleviate personal distress is me-focused.